Fighting TB matters since one case treated saves many others
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set the impressive goal of eradicating tuberculosis (TB) in India by 2025. TB claims the lives of more than four lakh Indians every year. The prime minister has made it clear that now is not the time for the status quo to prevail. New economic evidence commissioned by India Consensus, a collaboration between Tata Trusts and the Copenhagen Consensus, shows that Prime Minister Modi is entirely right to focus on tuberculosis. In Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan, Tata Trusts and the Copenhagen Consensus have worked with hundreds of stakeholders to identify the best policies in more than 40 areas. Top economists are generating tailor-made data on costs, benefits and impacts.
Nimalan Arinaminpathy from Imperial College, London, has analysed TB in Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan. TB management is especially important because each case treated saves others. Managing this killer disease means more money to tackle other priorities. This analysis indicates that increasing the quality of TB care in the private sector would increase the number of TB patients in Rajasthan receiving high-quality treatment by more than one lakh over three decades, saving 3,300 lives every year on an average, or more than 11% of deaths.